DA welcomes R60 million commitment to address Orthopaedic surgeries backlog

By Jane Sithole, MPL, Spokesperson on Health:

The Mpumalanga Government has heeded the DA’s call to urgently address the province’s Orthopaedic surgeon backlog and has allocated R60 million towards this cause.

The announcement, which is a step in the right direction, was made by Finance MEC, Eric Kholwane, during the Mpumalanga Adjustment Appropriation Bill for 2015, which was tabled in the Legislature last week.

The DA welcomes this announcement and hopes that the R60 million will make a visible difference to the lives of the hundreds of people what have been waiting for months for their surgeries.

Recently, Health MEC, Gillion Mashego stated that there was a total of 647 patients admitted in hospitals across Mpumalanga who were awaiting surgery but due to the province’s shortage of orthopaedic surgeons, some had to wait as much long as six months. He also stated that over 338 patients were waiting at home for their orthopaedic surgeries as hospitals continue to send patients home on a daily basis.

Mpumalanga’s vacancy rate for medical specialists stood at 61.7% in the 2014/15 financial year with a turnover rate of 20.7%.

We hope that MEC Kholwane can oversee the spending of this R60 million to ensure that the orthopaedic surgeries backlog improves because MEC Mashego has proved time and time again that he is not capable of maintaining a firm hold over his department’s finances.

Medical specialists are essential in helping Mpumalanga preserve a strong and physically abled work force. We hope that the R60 million will help to retain our medical specialists and ensure that the hundreds of people awaiting surgery receive the help that they require.